Digital Time Off

Children whose age is between 15 to 24 are the most connected one to the extent where 71% of them use the internet in today’s world. It is very easy to get access to smartphones at a very young age these days.


This problem is more severe in the school and college students as they tend to spend a large amount of their time on the Internet rather than interacting with family and friends.


Approximately 28 percent of people spend 10 or more hours in front of digital devices daily. The number only goes up from there, as approximately 65 percent spend between three to nine hours per day in front of a digital device.


Doctors in the cities are increasingly advising both the children and grown-up adults to purposely switch off their mobile phones, laptops, and tablets for a specific amount of time on a daily basis, an increase in time spent on these gadgets has become an alarming concern for them.


However, Dr. Kersi Chavda, a consultant psychiatrist at PD Hinduja Hospital, Mahim, said it is a challenge for parents to ensure that they are good role models if they want to change the behavior of their child.


“Very often while counseling a child, I learn that parents expect the children to cut down the time they spent on the gadgets, while they themselves continue to spend more time on these devices on the pretext of work,” said Dr. Chavda.


“There has been a tremendous increase in the amount of time spent by both children and adults online, which is taking away the real-time interaction from family members,” said Dr. Pervin Dadachanji, child and adolescent psychiatrist, child development Centre UMEED, Parel.


Smartphones have effectively removed us from the reality of life, and if we have small children, it will have long-term repercussions on them because they are likely to follow our behavior. If they see us with our heads down immersed in smart devices, then they will also follow the same.


What is even more worrying nowadays, is that families are misinterpreting the time they spend watching television set together as the family time which is totally incorrect she added


Meanwhile, the psychiatrist said that rise in time spent online increases symptoms for people who have social anxiety and mild to severe forms of autism.


According to the recent study, published in journal NeuroRegulation, they believe that loneliness is partly an outcome of replacing face-to-face communication with a form of interaction where body language and other signals cannot be understood.


Doctors said the process to get children and adults away from their screens is a gradual and slow process. No addiction can be reduced drastically overnight in a day. One needs to start with reducing screen time from a small amount of time such as few minutes to an hour, over a period of a couple of days said Dr. Chavda.



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